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Do You Want To Send Your Neighbor’s Green With Envy?

Do you ever wonder what your neighbors think of your home? Believe me, they are looking. They might subtly suggest that the weather’s nice enough to trim the grass. That’s their way of saying that yours is a little too long and it’s making their home look bad. Or, potentially, they could notice a lovely colorful new array of flowers in your garden. They could ask where you bought the seeds or what your secret is for getting them to sprout so beautifully. Sometimes we want to impress our neighbors and other times we want to beat them to see who can have the prettiest home.

This could be simply to make sure that your property is the crown jewel on the street. Or, perhaps it’s because you’re selling and you don’t want attention taken away from your house by other homes in the area.

This is all about curb appeal, and we have some fantastic tips for you.

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Going Green

It’s a big change, but you might want to consider adding solar panels to your roof. Solar panels have been a big deal for companies and businesses for years, helping them save money. You can find more from Big Dog Solar Energy about this and discover the benefits of a feature for companies. Or, you can start to look at the new trend where homeowners are getting in on the action. Yes, homeowners can now invest in solar panels as well, getting the energy saving solution they need and the home redesign they want. With solar panels, your home roof will look fantastic and modern. The energy saving is really just a bonus.

Get A Carport

Don’t worry, all the ideas aren’t quite this grand, but a carport could be a fantastic option. With a carport, you can add an exciting new feature to the front of your property and will have a practical purpose. With a carport, you can protect your vehicle from the worst of the elements. However, it’s also consider a luxurious build. So, if you want to upscale your home, this could definitely be the right choice for you.

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Invest In Landscaping

You can think about using a professional landscaper to keep your garden looking lush and lovely. People will often hire a landscaper if they are thinking about selling to make sure that their yard makes a tremendous first impression. However, this can be an expensive service so you will need to think carefully about whether it’s worth the charge. The cost will typically depend on what you want to do. Tidying up the grass and making it green won’t cost a fortune. But altering the levels and layers of your yard definitely will.

Go Astro

Finally, if you want to cheat, you can think about investing in astroturf. Similar to solar panels it’s a concept that started off as a commercial choice but was ultimately embraced by homebuyers, and you can see why. With astroturf, you will have gorgeous lush green grass no matter what the weather is like outside.

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Easy Refrigerator Pickles Recipe

I love fresh cucumbers from the garden, but it never fails that the majority of the crop has to be harvested around the same time. Cucumbers in salad are delicious, but 25 of them?  Instead of wasting them, pickle them! I have an easy recipe for refrigerator pickles. You can make them with just 10 minutes of prep and 6 hours to brine. You don’t even need to turn on the stove!

What are Refrigerator Pickles?

Refrigerator pickles are made without the typical canning process, instead they’re made with raw cucumber slices and brine. The take very little effort and they’re ready to eat within hours. The upside of making fridge pickles – they’re easy to make and incredibly crispy and delicious. The downside, they’re not shelf stable, but will last several weeks in the refrigerator.

Refrigerator Pickles

Ingredients

A dozen fresh picked cucumbers  (I prefer the shorter pickling variety)

1 1/2 cups water

3 tablespoons white vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or pickling salt*

1 tablespoon of pickling spice blend
(which usually includes black peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, dill seed, allspice berries and crushed bay leaves)

2-4 cloves of garlic

1 sprig of fresh dill

If you like them spicy 🌶️ (optional)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more/less to taste

Directions

  1. Add the water, vinegar, salt, one clove of garlic per jar, pickling spice blend and dill into 2 (1-quart) jar — or divide the mixture evenly between four small (1-pint) jars — and stir to combine.
  2. Add the sliced cucumbers to the jar(s).  Then place the lids on the jar(s), and shake to combine.
  3. Refrigerate ideally for at least 2 days before eating, although you can totally dive in before that time.  The pickles will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks.

Too many cherry tomatoes? I have the perfect Roasted Garlic Tomato Recipe just for you.
Great as a side dish or to top your favorite pasta. It’s a great late Summer meal!

Cherry Tomatoes

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Top 10 Butterfly Garden Plants

My garden is a very busy place these days! Butterflies, bumble bees, hummingbirds — all bustling around pollinating their little butts off. I’ve really enjoyed watching all of the activity and wanted to share a little research I did on the Top 10 Butterfly Garden Plants. I plan on expanding my garden next year and want to be informed on what I should be on the lookout for. This is the perfect time of year to pick up some clearance perennials at the garden center, save a little money and help foster a healthy ecosystem.

 

Snapdragons
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)

10. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)

A common perennial used in flower pots and garden borders, this flower is great for butterflies, humming birds and honey bees.

(Nectar & Host) : Cabbage White, Common Buckeye, Grey Hairstreak, Pearl Crescent, Swallowtail

White daisy
Daisy (Leucanthemum)

9. Daisies (Leucanthemum)

This classic summer flower attract butterflies as well as serving as a host plant.

(Nectar & Host) : American Painted Lady, Cabbage White, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady, Queen, Red Admiral, Pearl Crescent, Sachem

8. Goldenrod (Solidago)

Goldenrod, a fall bloomer, attracts native pollinators and beneficial insects to your garden. It’s beautiful golden color adds a needed pop of color to a late Summer/Fall garden.

(Nectar) : American Painted Lady, American Snout, Clouded Sulphur, Common Sulphur, Great Swallowtail, Gorgone Checkerspot, Monarch, Painted Lady, Pearl Crescent, Red Admiral, Red-Banded Hairstreak, Sachem, Viceroy

Black-eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

7. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Another long-blooming summer perennial that butterflies love! Fun fact!: The black-eyed susan have an invisible (to humans) pattern on their petals that only butterflies (with ultraviolet vision) can see. How cool is that?

(Nectar) : American Snout, Great Spangled Fritillary, Hayhurst’s Scallopwing, Orange Sulphur, Pearl Crescent, Sachem, Silvery Checkerspot, Silver-Spotted Skipper, Spring and Summer Azure, Variegated Fritillary

6. Verbena

Verbena is also drought tolerant, make a great choice for rock gardens or planting in cracks between stones. Verbena are the ideal plant to cascade over retaining walls, containers, baskets, and window boxes. This versatile flower is perfect for any butterfly garden and it’s clusters bloom all season long.

(Nectar) : American Lady, Black Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Common Buckeye, Clouded Skipper, Clouded Sulphur, Crossline Skipper, Dun Skipper, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Fiery Skipper, Gray Hairstreak, Great Southern White, Great Spangled Fritillary, Hayhurst’s Scallopwing, Horace’s Duskywing, Least Skipper, Little Glassywing, Monarch, Ocola Skipper, Orange Sulphur, Painted Lady, Pecks Skipper, Pearl Crescent, Pipevine Swallowtail, Red-Banded Hairstreak, Red Spotted Admiral, Sachem, Silver-Spotted Skipper, Silvery Checkerspot, Swallowtail, Tawny-edged Skipper, Variegated Fritillary, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Zabulon, Zebra Longwing, Zebra Swallowtail

Lantana
Lantana

5. Lantana

Lantana are full of color — bright and cheery.  Their blooms last all season long and they attract both butterflies and humming birds to your garden.

(Nectar) : Cabbage White, Fiery Skipper, Great Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak, Hayhurst’s Scallopwing, Little Glassywing, Monarch, Red Admiral, Sachem, Silver-Spotted Skipper, Skipper, Spicebush Swallowtail, Swallowtail, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Zebra Longwing

Salvia
Salvia

4. Salvia

Salvias come in a wide range of colors, are drought tolerant and their bloom life is exceptionally long. They not only attract butterflies but hummingbirds as well!

(Nectar) : American Lady, Cabbage White, Clouded Skipper, Cloudless Sulphur, Dun Skipper, Fiery Skipper, Giant Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak, Gulf Fritillary, Monarch, Orange Sulphur, Orange-barred Sulphur, Peck’s Skipper, Sachem, Silver-Spotted Skipper, Spicebush Swallowtail, Zebra Longwing, Zabulon

3. Aster

Asters are a late summer and fall blooming perennial and not only attract butterflies for the nectar but also as a host plant. They are a daisy-like perennial  with star-shaped flower head and come in a wide range of varieties, colors and sizes.

(Nectar & Host) : American Lady, American Snout, Anise Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail, Buckeye Butterfly, Cabbage White, Clouded Skipper, Clouded Sulphur, Common Buckeye, Common Checkered-Skipper, Common Sulphur, Eastern Tailed-Blue, Fiery Skipper, Gray Hairstreak, Horace’s Duskywing, Lorquin Admiral, Monarch, Orange Sulphur, Painted Lady, Pearl Crescent, Peck’s Skipper, Question Mark, Red Admiral, Red-Banded Hairstreak, Sachem, Silver-Spotted Skipper, Sleepy Orange, Swallowtail, Variegated Fritillary, Viceroy, West Coast Lady

Purple Coneflower
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)

2. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)

This widely versatile perennial can be planted almost everywhere in the US and attracts a ton of butterflies. Purple coneflowers, also known as Echinacea, are attractive and hearty flowers that not only draw butterflies to your garden but songbirds too!

(Nectar) : American Lady, Banded Hairstreak, Black Swallowtail, Clouded Sulphur, Common Checkered Skipper, Common Wood-nymph, Eastern Tailed Blue, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Fiery Skipper, Giant Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak, Great Spangled Fritillary, Gulf Fritillary, Hayhurst’s Scallopwing, Horace’s Duskywing, Little Glassywing, Monarch, Orange Sulphur, Painted Lady, Pearl Crescent, Peck’s Skipper, Red Admiral, Red-Banded Hairstreak, Red-Spotted Admiral, Sachem, Silvery Checkerspot, Silver-Spotted Skipper, Spicebush Swallowtail, Swallowtail, Tawny-edge Skipper, Variegated Fritillary, Viceroy, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Zabulon

Butterfly bush
Butterfly Bush

1. Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)

The name says it all, Butterfly Bush is hands down the best plant for attracting butterflies to your yard. Each plant can support hundreds of butterflies feeding on it at one time. Beautiful, fast-growing, deciduous shrub with masses of blossoms that bloom from summer to autumn.

(Nectar) : American Lady, Anise Swallowtail, Banded Hairstreak, Black Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Cloudless Sulphur, Crossline Skipper, Eastern Comma, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Fiery Skipper, Giant Swallowtail, Great Spangled Fritillary, Gulf Fritillary, Horace’s Duskywing, Little Glassywing, Monarch, Mourning Cloak, Ocola Skipper, Orange Sulphur, Painted Lady, Pipevine Swallowtail, Polydamus Swallowtail, Queen, Question Mark, Red Admiral, Red-Banded Hairstreak, Red-Spotted Purple, Peck’s Skipper, Sachem, Silver Spotted Skipper, Southern Broken-Dash, Spicebush Swallowtail, Spring and Summer Azure, Variegated Fritillary, Viceroy, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Zabulon, Zebra Longwing, Zebra Swallowtail

 

Do you have a green thumb or know someone who does?

I put together a guide of  “Must-Haves” for Plant Lovers  to keep that thumb extra green!

Watering Can

 

 

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Plant Lover Must-haves

To all the “Crazy Plant” people out there, this list is for you. I’ve been slowly turning my black-thumb into a green one and my obsession with plants is turning into just that — and obsession. So, I thought I’d share some of my favorite gardening and plant loving products I’ve found while converting myself into a “Crazy Plant Lady”.

 

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Glass House Terrarium

A great container for succulents, air plants, orchids and ferns. These trendy little containers are compact and would fit perfect on a windowsill or end table.
Gift idea alert…these terrariums are easy to transport and would make a fantastic housewarming gift or birthday gift for a true green thumb!

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Vintage Style European Floral Shears

Floral shears are great for deadheading, shaping, pruning and houseplant maintenance; This compact design allows you to easily use in dense foliage without damaging the plant. And could this vintage-inspired set be any cuter?

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Glass Vintage-Inspired Plant Mister

Keep humidity-loving plants happy with a glass bottle plant mister. Delivering a light mist —it’s ideal for indoor plants, herb gardens, and terrariums. A chic upgrade to a drab plastic spray bottle.

 

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Hoop Handle Mini Watering Can


Made by Terrain. This vintage-inspired galvanized metal watering can is the perfect petite size. Keep  inside to water houseplants or in your garden shed to water flower pots and hanging baskets.

 

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Herb Garden Picks Plant Stake

Wooden herb garden pick signs with metal stakes featuring names of 6 popular herb spices. Designed and sold by Primitives by Kathy.

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Heirloom Quality Garden Hod

Made by Gardener’s Supply Company. Originally used by Maine clam diggers to hold and rinse their catch, these hods are perfect for harvesting and rinsing off vegetables and gathering flowers, too.

Floral Gardening Knee Pad and Floral Gardening Gloves


Protect yourself in style while gardening with these adorable floral garden accessories from Anthropologie. Made of durable cotton fabric protect your knees and hands while gardening.

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Cotton Crusher Hat

Made by Terrain. Handmade from lightweight and breathable cotton, this colorful crusher hat is perfect for a day at the beach or in the garden. Packable construction pairs with UPF 50 sun protection and an inner drawstring to assure a comfortable fit.

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Macrame Plant Hanger

Mini hammock knot macrame made of cotton rope is the perfect BOHO accent to hang succulents, ivy and other small houseplants. 

#1Plant

Crazy Plant Lady 8″x10″ Print

Celebrate your inner “Crazy Plant Lady”! Fun and whimsical artwork to go along with your ever growing plant collection. This print illustration measures 8″x10″, printed on a thick, high-quality matte stock, and includes a heavy-gauge backer board, ready to frame. 

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I Have Major Plant Goals 8″x10″ Print

Life is full of goals and having a strong plant game should be one of them!  A fun and whimsical piece of artwork to go along with your ever growing plant collection.